Seattle has been blessed with an extraordinary array of hiking opportunities that help to keep the city a haven for outdoor enthusiasts of all types. The remarkable variety of scenery, terrain, and conditions ensure there is a nearby hike for anyone in any mood. If you are willing to drive a bit, hiking opportunities around Seattle are staggering. Within an hour you can find hikes high in the Alpine Lakes area or all along Puget Sound, and if you can travel farther, the options are almost overwhelming. But we’ve all had moments when a long commute can feel like a hurdle; likewise, busy schedules can mean you have to be in the city for some part of the day. Does this mean the outdoors are out? Far from it.
For this list of Seattle’s best hikes, we’ve added plenty of excursions that are accessible by bike, public transportation, or a short drive within the metro area. Seattleites enjoy all of the amenities of a word-class city and easy access to the outdoors. Enjoy a late night out on Friday? Grab a light breakfast at Pike Place and catch the ferry to Seacrest Park for a run on the Alki Trail to the Alki Lighthouse to clear your head. Looking to put in a few on a trail after work and before heading out for the evening? Discovery Park and Carkeek Park are 7 and 9 miles from downtown, respectively, and the two offer a total of 18 miles of trails. Taking the kids? Mercer Slough is a 12-minute drive from downtown and has plenty of boardwalk paths to explore along with educational materials that will be interesting for the older kids, and you’ll never be far from the car or the restrooms at the trailhead if you are bringing younger children. It can all happen in the metro area, and it can all be part of an urban outdoor balance.